Happy Tuesday, all.
Today I would like to talk about smoothies. Some of you may already using them. I have not jumped on that bandwagon – until now. I thought it was just a way to have a milkshake and not feel guilty. After all, cold milk and frozen fruit? Add a little sweetener and you’ve basically got a slushy. Nothing diet or necessarily healthy about that. Boy was I wrong.
First of all, I didn’t know about the veggie aspect. The point of making a smoothie is to get more veggies into your system. The fruit is just to help make it palatable. 🙂 Also you should have some protein too. Lot’s of people have a smoothie for a meal replacement (usually breakfast) or as an after workout replenishment. I personally can’t do cold for breakfast so I could do one for a snack replacement or for after a gym session.
Actually there are several reasons to add a smoothie to your daily menu. I found these at http://thescienceofeating.com/healthy-drinks/benefits-of-smoothies/
- Good Smoothies Are Nutrient-Dense & Contain Fat
The best smoothies are made with natural, all real, nutrient-dense ingredients that provide vitamins and oils necessary for good more complete nutrition. Fat is required for biological functions and is burned by your body for energy. A truly healthy smoothie should have some dietary fat for the body to use in assimilating the vitamins. Simply blending a banana with ice and skim milk does provide a great deal of benefits or nutrients.
- Smoothies Help Keep You Hydrated
A smoothie for breakfast helps you get hydrated for the day, something soda and coffee won’t do. Since your body pulls water from many foods in order to stay hydrated, you won’t have to drink water when you’re sipping on a smoothie (especially a homemade one without sugar). Milk and yogurt are largely water, so if your smoothie is dairy-based, you’ll quench your thirst. In hot weather, add some ice cubes to the blender for extra water.
- Dairy-Based Smoothies Provide Calcium
Smoothies made with dairy products as the bulk provide calcium for bone strength. Try yogurt or Kefir, as these cultured milk products are good sources of probiotic and live cultures, and eight ounces provide almost a third of your daily requirement of calcium.
- Healthy Smoothies Are Simple to Make
When you have a good blender and easily accessible, quality ingredients, making a delicious, healthy smoothie is a snap. Start with 8 to 16 oz. of almond milk, yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit. Most fruits are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals adding a power boost to your day. Certain combinations are quite tropical and make a great summer treat. Other excellent ingredient choices are raw Omega-3 egg yolks, extra virgin coconut oil, shredded coconut & pure vanilla extract.
- Smoothies Make a Healthy Breakfast
A homemade smoothie for your morning meal is an excellent choice for the breakfast on-the-go. You can make it in minutes before you leave the house and sip it on your way to work, school or just in your home office. Drinking a smoothie in the morning keeps you from indulging in empty carbohydrates like donuts and removes the temptation of the drive through. If you have trouble taking cod liver oil by itself, add a teaspoon to your smoothie. You’ll never notice a difference in taste and you’ll add a great dose of essential fatty acids as well as vitamins to your nutritious morning meal. In fact, a smoothie made this way packs more usable nutrition than most multivitamins.
- Better Than Multi-Vitamins
Despite what most people may think, daily “multi-vitamins” aren’t even regulated by the FDA and are not demonstrably proven to have significant health benefits, and few have been shown conclusively effective. The bottom line, the best way to get nutrition is from food, and consuming a healthful smoothie every day gives you most of your nutrition in one proven, delicious dosage.
A smoothie is a great way to get more produce in your diet. Just be sure that there is at least 1 1/2 cups of produce included. Many people like to add spinach or kale but it can be zucchini or summer squash, pumpkin or sweet potato – you get the picture. It can also be a combination of ingredients just as long as it adds up to at least 1 1/2 cups. Then add your fruit and protein. It doesn’t have to be milk – try Greek yogurt, kefir, silken tofu or milk alternatives like almond or coconut. Be sure to change it up from time to time so that you don’t get in a rut. Try a little almond butter or peanut butter for protein and honey for sweetener. Also adding a protein powder will help boost the protein ratio. I like whey protein where a lot of people prefer pea protein. Your choice.
The sky is the limit – just be sure you are using healthy ingredients and not a prepackaged shake product. A lot of those prepackaged smoothies are all hype with no real substance, just trying to cash in on the smoothie bandwagon. Again, be sure to read ingredient labels.
So the baby step this week is to incorporate smoothies into your everyday routine. This goes for me too. I am going to put a smoothie into my menu everyday. This is a big change for me but I’m sure in time I will think of smoothies as an everyday necessity and I will feel depleted without the added vitamins and minerals on the days that I don’t have one.
Bye for now.